spent to treat people as they approach the end of their lives. how much money? well, in 2009, medicare paid $55 billion for doctor and hospital bills for patients as they approached the last two months of life. to give you some perspective, that's more than the budget for the department of homeland security or the department of education. and as we reported in 2009, most of those bills were paid for by the government with few or no questions asked and with an estimated 30% of the treatments having no meaningful impact. >> ms. klish, it's dr. byock. >> marcia klish is either being saved by medical technology or being prevented from dying a natural death. >> we're just here checking on you. >> she's been unconscious in the intensive care unit at dartmouth hitchcock medical center in lebanon, new hampshire, for the better part of a week. one of her doctors, ira byock, told us it costs up to $10,000 a day to maintain someone in the icu. >> this is the way so many americans die. something like 18% to 20% of americans spend their last days in an icu. and, you know, it's extremely expensive.